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Theatre Arts Chair attends Live-Interactive Workshop in NYC

George H. Brown (far right), chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, explores New York City with other participants of the Troika Ranch Live-I Workshop.

When you think of Theatre and New York City, thoughts of Broadway come to mind replete with bright lights, soaring music, and star actors. Its not that often that one considers that combination with thoughts of infrared motion capture, DMX and Midi control functionality, or H.264 versus DVNTSC video compression, but those thoughts filled the mind and imagination of George H. Brown, chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, as he spent two weeks in New York City this June at the Troika Ranch Live-I Workshop on Composition for Media and The Stage.

The Live-I (Live-Interactive) Workshop is an intensive seminar designed for performance-based artists to explore the use of interactive computer technology in the creation and performance of live artworks. The workshop took place at the 3LD Art & Technology Center from June 9 - 20, 2009.

George has gained a national reputation for infusing technology into live theatre. In recent years his collaborative work with Jim Ferolo, director of the Interactive Media Program at Bradley, has included mediatized productions of The Oresteia, Alice (Experiments) in Wonderland, Bradley’s Red Tie Gala, and Elmer Rice’s The Adding Machine, which was awarded the 2008 Internet2 IDEA award.

George’s participation in the Live-I Workshop, funded by a Bradley Research Excellence Grant, is part of the preparation for one of his next projects, Voices - an ambitious international collaboration that will join theatre artists, media artists, and technologists from around the world to develop an original intermedial theatrical work focused on genocide awareness. Last summer George participated in the two-week Genocide And Human Rights Institute at Northern Illinois University to explore the project’s content with several of the world’s leading experts on the subject.

Each day at the workshop, Troika Ranch artistic directors Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello introduced new compositional problems revolving around the integration of media and live performance. The working group would discuss various strategies and approaches towards the problem and then individually create a short study to creatively address that problem.

Topics covered included:

In addition to this workshop, Troika Ranch produces live performances, interactive installations, and digital films, all of which combine traditional aspects of these forms with advanced technologies. This workshop was the tenth taught by Mark and Dawn, held annually in NYC since 1999. To read and see what George accomplished while in NYC (including seeing a few Broadway shows and meeting alumni in the city) check out his blog at: